|West Valley College||Spring 2013|
|Tim Kelly, Ph.D.
Office Hours: M/W 2:00-2:30; T/Th 12:30-1:00 and by appt.
Why do millions of Americans not vote? Why is it that the winner of the popular vote for President can also be the loser? Is there really a difference between Democrats and Republicans? Do we really need 50 state governments if we have one national government? Why was there a recall election in California? Don't know much about American politics? Then welcome to Poli Sci 1!
Poli Sci 1 covers the structure and functions of the American national state and local governments. Emphasis is placed on the development of democratic institutions through historical and contemporary studies. Students will have an opportunity to understand what has shaped the United States Constitution, its amendments, major court interpretations, the operation of and one's role in democratic government. This course may be used to meet the Social Science I or II requirement in the General Education Pattern for transfer to the California State University system.
Additional topics this course will explore are the following:
|Significant events in political, economic, and social American history that have shaped our political system since its founding;|
role of major ethnic and social groups in influencing public policy;|
|The role of the media;|
|The relevance of foreign policy in shaping American politics (and vice-versa);|
|Alternative paths towards political reform in the Information Age.|
|Barbara Bardes, et. al., American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials (16th 2011-12 Edition) (This is referred to as Text in the reading assignments) (ISBN: 9780538497190)|
|Robert DiClerico, Points of View: Readings in American Government and Politics (11th Ed.) (ISBN: 9780073403908)|
Students wishing to take this class with the Pass/No Pass option must inform the instructor in writing no later than the end of the SIXTH WEEK. Requests for this option WILL NOT be accepted after that time. See the WVC Catalog under "Academic Regulations and Standards" for more information about this option.
In addition, students who wish to be dropped from the course are responsible for doing this on their own. I will not do this for you. If you stop logging on to Angel but your name is on my roster at the end of the semester, you will receive an "F" in the class with no opportunities to change this to a "W."
You are required to take 14 quizzes (the two lowest scores being dropped and added back into your total as Extra Credit), a midterm, and a final. ALL QUIZZES AND EXAMS ARE CONDUCTED ONLINE on the Angel server.
Each quiz is based on the corresponding chapter that is assigned in the Bardes textbook for that week. You will have 20 minutes to complete 15 questions (once you begin the quiz, you must complete it within 20 minutes by 11:55 pm of the due date). You MAY NOT make-up a missed quiz. In addition to reading the textbook, you may find useful the companion web page for our Bardes textbook maintained by Wadsworth/Cengage (your book's publisher) at http://coursemate.cengage.com/CPReader/View/9781111356323/default.aspx?eISBN=9781111356323&anon=True#home. This companion web page has practice quiz questions.
Once you take the quiz, the system will give you an immediate score; however, you can only fully review your quiz for the correct answers once the quiz period is complete (i.e., at the end of the week).
Your Midterm and Final exams are essay format and will be explained in Study Guides that are currently posted on the lecture web page.
IF A PROBLEM OCCURS: Students are encouraged not to wait until the last day to take a quiz (which will be available for the entire week). If a problem occurs with the system or your computer (and let's face it - such problems DO occur from time to time), contact me ASAP. I will help you solve the problem. If, however, you wait until the final day (or worse, the final hours) and a problem arises, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to help you before the deadline (you take that risk upon yourself by waiting so long to take the quiz).
Every one to two weeks a threaded discussion will be posted based on the DiClerico readings, something in the textbook, or current events in the news. Click on the Discussions icon on the Angel page under Lessons, read the topic statement, and then post your comments. You may respond to the instructor's statement or any other comment made by other students. You must participate in each of these discussions in order to receive credit for your participation. More instructions are posted on Angel.
Your two lowest scored quizzes (which includes a missed quiz scored as zero) that are dropped will be added back into your total score as Extra Credit. The incentive here is to take ALL of the quizzes (not just the 14 required) and do the best you can on them all.
You are required to turn in one paper analyzing the debates presented in the DiClerico book. This paper is 220 points and is explained in more detail HERE.
|Complete the assigned readings first. I have written these lectures with the assumption that you already understand the topics from the assigned readings.|
|Read the outlines provided on each Week's page to get familiar with the general themes of the lecture.|
|Don't wait until the last minute to read the lectures, and give yourself plenty of time to digest them. These lectures take one hour and 25 minutes to give in class. You should allow yourself at least the same amount of time.|
|The lectures are full of links highlighted in BLUE that will give you more information about the topics I discuss. You are encouraged to follow these blue links.|
|You ARE required to follow any RED links and read the material provided.|
For more information about this online course format, go to http://instruct.westvalley.edu/kelly/.
Grading Policy: Grades are awarded on a Standard Scale:
2. Twelve Quizzes
3. Midterm Exam
4. Final examination
5. List-Serve Participation
899 - 800
799 - 700
699 - 600
599 and below
Dates to Remember
|Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop w/out a "W"
Last Day to Request P/NP Option
Optional Due Date for Paper
April 26 (Friday):
Last Day to Drop w/a "W"
Required Due Date for Paper (if you didn't exercise optional due date)
Week 1 (Jan 28 - Feb 2)
What is American Politics?
- Contemporary Issues in California Politics
Readings: Text, Ch 1; DiClerico, Ch 1
|Angel Discussion: Defining Democracy: Hook vs. Zinn (closes Saturday of Week 2)|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 1 Begins (closes Saturday of Week 2)|
Week 2 (Feb 3 - 9)
Rules of the Political Game
- Simulation: Constitution
Readings: Text, Ch 2; DiClerico, Ch 2
|Angel Discussion: Constitution: Beard vs. Brown|
|Angel Quiz: Chs 1 & 2 (closes Saturday)|
Week 3 (Feb 10 - 16)
Federalism: Eighty-Seven Thousand
- Simulation: Federalism
Readings: Ch 3; DiClerico, Ch 3
|Angel Quiz: Ch 3 (closes Saturday)|
|NO DISCUSSION THIS WEEK|
|2/10||LAST DAY TO
LAST DAY TO DROP W/OUT A "W"
Week 4 (Feb 17 - 23)
- Civil Liberties in America
- Civil Liberties and the War on Terrorism
Readings: Text, Ch 4; DiClerico, Ch 14 (pp. 257-273)
|Angel Discussion: Criminal Rights: Gavzer (Rothwax) vs. Kilwein|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 4 (closes Saturday)|
Week 5 (Feb 24 - March 2)
- The Politics of Civil Rights: Race and
- The Politics of Civil Rights: Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Persons with Disabilities
Readings: Text, Ch 5; DiClerico, Ch 15 (pp. 274-284)
|Angel Discussion: Should Civil Rights Also Include Gay Rights?|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 5 (closes Saturday)|
Week 6 (March 3 - 9)
Opinion and Political Socialization
- Simulation: Public Opinion
Readings: Text, Ch 6; DiClerico, Ch 4
|Angel Discussion: Public Opinion Polls: Good or Ill?|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 6 (closes Saturday)|
|3/09||LAST DAY TO REQUEST "PASS/NO PASS" OPTION|
Week 7 (March 10 - 16)
NO LECTURES: FOCUS ON MIDTERM
PAPER OPTIONAL DUE by Saturday, March 16 at 11:59 pm
MIDTERM Begins Sunday, March 10 and ends Saturday, March 16 at 11:55 pm
Week 8 (March 17 - 23)
Political Parties in
- Simulation: Political Parties
Readings: Text, Ch 8; DiClerico, Ch 8
|Angel Discussion: Political Parties: Douthat vs. Judis/Teixeira|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 8 (closes Saturday)|
Week 9 (March 24 - 30)
Interest Group Politics
- Simulation: Interest Groups
Readings: Text, Ch 7; DiClerico, Ch 6, Ch 9
|Angel Discussion: Campaigns and the Media: Wertheimer vs. Bates/Diamond|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 7 (closes Saturday)|
31 - April 6 - SPRING BREAK
Week 10 (April 7 - 13)
Campaigns and Elections in
- "The Mother's Milk of Politics:" Financing the Modern Campaign
Readings: Text, Ch 9; DiClerico 7 (pp. 111-118); Online: Ira Glasser; Patricia Williams
|Angel Discussion: Are Corporations People, Too? Glasser vs. Williams (see online links above)|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 9 (closes Saturday)|
Week 11 (April 14 - 20)
- Congressional Politics
- Simulation: Congress
Readings: Text, Ch 10, DiClerico, Ch 10 (pp. 155-166); Kapur, "GOP Memo: Gerrymandering Won Us the House"
|Angel Quiz: Ch 10 (closes Saturday)|
|NO DISCUSSION THIS WEEK|
Week 12 (April 21 - 27)
- Presidential Politics
- Simulation: Presidency
Readings: Text, Ch 11; DiClerico, Ch 11: Online: Bush Quietly Undercuts Laws With Bill-Signing Statement (SJ Mercury News); Signing Statement Study Says Administration Has Ignored Laws (Washington Post); Obama Signing Statement: Despite Law, I Can Do What I Want On Czars" (The Daily Caller)
|Angel Discussion: Presidential Power: Signing Statements (see online links above)|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 11 (closes Saturday)|
REQUIRED PAPER DUE DATE (if you didn't exercise the optional date): Saturday, April 27 by 11:59 pm.
|4/26 (This is a Friday!!)||LAST DAY TO DROP w/a "W"|
Week 13 (April 28 - May 4)
- The Federal Judiciary
- Simulation: Judiciary
Readings: Text, Ch 13; DiClerico, Ch 13 (pp. 206-218)
|Angel Discussion: Original Intent of Judges: Meese vs. Kaufman|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 13 (closes Saturday)|
Week 14 (May 5 - 11)
- Simulation: The Bureaucracy
Readings: Text, Ch 12
|NO DISCUSSION THIS WEEK|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 12 (closes Saturday)|
Week 15 (May 12 - 18)
Politics and American Foreign Policy
- Simulation: Foreign Policy
Readings: Text, Ch 15; Online: Obama, "Renewing American Leadership"
|NO DISCUSSION THIS WEEK|
|Angel Quiz: Ch 15 (closes Saturday)|